More than 33 million American adults experience some kind of urinary incontinence. Frequent urges to urinate and accidental urine leakage can be upsetting and embarrassing. 

Urinary incontinence means loss of bladder control. There are five kinds of urinary incontinence:

  • Stress Incontinence: Urine leakage that occurs when you inadvertently pressure your bladder. If you have stress incontinence, you may have small accidents when you laugh, cough, sneeze, lift heavy objects, or exercise strenuously
  • Urge Incontinence: A “gotta go now” sensation that leads to accidents before you can get to the bathroom
  • Overflow Incontinence: Frequent or even continual urine loss. With this kind of incontinence, you generally lose tiny amounts of urine gradually because you’re unable to totally empty your bladder when you urinate
  • Mixed Incontinence: Both stress and urge incontinence
  • Functional Incontinence: Urine loss because of physical or mental barriers, such as disease or medication side effects

Urinary incontinence affects millions of men and women today, but it’s not a problem you have to live with. 

Diagnosis: The urology specialist conducts a physical exam and evaluates your medical history. Usually, a urine sample for urinalysis is required. Your urologist may also take a post-void residual urine measurement to check your total output. After your appointment, you may need to maintain a bladder diary that notes your fluid intake and urination patterns.